• Guest, Help us understand what we can do better in future. Click Here!

Must have hand tools?

CalgaryPT

Super User
Vendor
Premium Member
I concur with the eye protection being first on the list. I lost an eye some years ago at the start of my hobby machining era (not from machining tho) and with only one left I became very cognizant of the importance of that one eye...I have at least a 1/2 dozen of the full face shield hoods in my shop, almost within arms length at any time and I don't even pick up a hammer without putting a shield on first. If you still have two eyes...keep it that way because if you ever go down to a single one there is no "second chance".
Just saw this now. Sorry about your accident. Great advice you have. I do the same as you--in just a double car garage I have 3 full face shields that I hang from the ceiling within reach of most of my machines, as well as a #5 full face shield by my plasma cutter. I also have two welding helmets in case a friend comes over. I have multiple googles that fit over standard progressives as well, but use these now for small hand work mostly. Full face shields are the way to go and I'm proud to say I have done this so long I've had to replace them all due to scratches, especially the one the hangs over my grinder and wire wheel. Every time I even think of not putting it on I remember a phrase a co-worker taught me:

Policies only work if they are followed.

Sadly I am not as careful with my hearing, but I will try to improve on that.
 
346B7F2A-E23A-4509-8062-E5889E05FDAA.jpeg 88E1CF91-30EE-417A-9DB1-264B250847CE.jpeg
I used my transfer punches and spotting bit for the first time today. Took less than ten minutes to locate and drill those three holes. No measuring, no fussing with a tape measure, no sharpie lines guessing at centre punching. Went right from the spotting drill to a 5/16” bit, all three bolts were dead on.

(We don’t need to bring up the runout in my still borrowed job mate drill press lol)

Next step is a tool to cut that off straight.
 

CalgaryPT

Super User
Vendor
Premium Member
I love transfer punches. Cheap, but they are the right tool for the job.

This weekend Chucking Reamers are my best friend. I was so happy when I discovered these things a long time ago. Instead of enlarging a undersize hole with a drill bit, or a tapered reamer, these fractional ones go up by 1/64" and save my butt every time. Mine are just straight flute HSS, but you can get really fancy ones, as well as spiral ones for keyways, etc. Used to buy them individually, but you can get whole sets for $200 - $300 now on Amazon.

90% of the time I use them in a hand drill.
chuck.jpg
 
Has anyone used/tried to use reamers as shown in Calgary's post for slotting a hole (material will be alum.) that a decimal end mill isn't available for? I can get a fractional end mill that is within 10 thou of the size I need but every bit of "slop" I can get away from would be a help.
 

Tom Kitta

Active Member
Has anyone used/tried to use reamers as shown in Calgary's post for slotting a hole (material will be alum.) that a decimal end mill isn't available for? I can get a fractional end mill that is within 10 thou of the size I need but every bit of "slop" I can get away from would be a help.
You mean you want to use a reamer as an end mill cutter to enlarge a bit a slot? This depends on how big things are - 0.010 bigger for a small 1/8th end mill and 0.135 reamer over say 5 inches in 1inch thick aluminium seems like a lot.

A 0.5 end mill and 0.510 reamer over 1 inch in 1/8th thick aluminium should not pose a problem at all.
 
I love transfer punches. Cheap, but they are the right tool for the job.

This weekend Chucking Reamers are my best friend. I was so happy when I discovered these things a long time ago. Instead of enlarging a undersize hole with a drill bit, or a tapered reamer, these fractional ones go up by 1/64" and save my butt every time. Mine are just straight flute HSS, but you can get really fancy ones, as well as spiral ones for keyways, etc. Used to buy them individually, but you can get whole sets for $200 - $300 now on Amazon.

90% of the time I use them in a hand drill.
View attachment 4916
That is a thing of beauty. A bit out of my current budget, but, is now on my "want" list. Kids are going to get a shock when they see my Christmas list this year...LOL
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Reamers are used to size holes very accurately & there are rules of thumb as to the appropriate size of pilot hole they follow. An end mill is kind of analogous to a drill - they are 'roughing devices' not really meant for finished hole sizes. But its all about what kind of tolerance you are striving to achieve. +/- 0.002 is in the range of drills. If you want another decimal place or even +./- .0005" you are wanting a reamer. Reamers 'follow' holes, so a bad starter hole will be a slightly better reamed hole.

You used the word 'slotting' a hole which is kind of misnomer. An end mill can cut a slot. A center cutting end mill can make a round hole (ideally again with a slightly undersized pilot hole). A drill can only make a round hole. A reamer can only ream a round hole they aren't intended to finish a slot if that's what you meant.
 

Attachments

CalgaryPT

Super User
Vendor
Premium Member
That is a thing of beauty. A bit out of my current budget, but, is now on my "want" list. Kids are going to get a shock when they see my Christmas list this year...LOL
When you do get some Brian, make sure you get a case for them. Unlike drill bits, chucking reamers have a lot of exposed cutting edges and can chip and dull if kept next to each other. You want to separate them so them don't bang into each other. The set I show is off Amazon is rebranded by a bunch of companies. A big complaint is that the box is cheap and often arrives shattered. Metal boxed sets are available but are more expensive. You can buy smaller sets and individual ones too...which is how I started out.

Years ago I forgot to allow for the added thickness of powder coat on some parts, and a chucking reamer saved me. Tubalcain has a great 3 part intro to reamers. Here's the link to Part 1 (I'll let you find the others if interested).
 
When you do get some Brian, make sure you get a case for them. Unlike drill bits, chucking reamers have a lot of exposed cutting edges and can chip and dull if kept next to each other. You want to separate them so them don't bang into each other. The set I show is off Amazon is rebranded by a bunch of companies. A big complaint is that the box is cheap and often arrives shattered. Metal boxed sets are available but are more expensive. You can buy smaller sets and individual ones too...which is how I started out.

Years ago I forgot to allow for the added thickness of powder coat on some parts, and a chucking reamer saved me. Tubalcain has a great 3 part intro to reamers. Here's the link to Part 1 (I'll let you find the others if interested).
The missing link
 

Tom Kitta

Active Member
Overall a good introduction. He didn't mention that you halve the speed for machine reaming vs. drilling - i.e. you ream at half speed of drilling of the same size for same material.

Also you can sharpen reamers - you can sharpen just the top part without effecting their size - after all the most dull part is at the start.

I have lots of them but only used so far few times - when you just need precise size - I may use one in few weeks - a precise fit for a bearing.
 
Is a cheap Accusize metal gauge wheel “good enough”?

The local fab shop when I asked them said “I didn’t even bother looking for anything other than a Mitutoyo”

I’m guessing for $20 the Accusize one will be fine
 

CalgaryPT

Super User
Vendor
Premium Member
If we all waited until we had enough money to buy the very best for every tool, we'd never start a hobby. Or own a house. Or car. Or engagement ring for a wife, etc.

Get what you can afford, make the best of it, and upgrade when you can. No shame in that.

 
Is a cheap Accusize metal gauge wheel “good enough”?

The local fab shop when I asked them said “I didn’t even bother looking for anything other than a Mitutoyo”

I’m guessing for $20 the Accusize one will be fine
I am sure there is a reason why a lot of shops go under :)

My cheap $10 Chinese calipers don't feel like x10 more expensive ones but they are almost as accurate as 10x as expensive ones. Now occasionaly calipers get abused. I rather trash cheap ones then expensive ones. Expensive stuff is well protected and used when its accuracy is needed. Otherwise cheap stuff gets used almost all the time.

The problem is that the cheap tool sometimes is garbage - cheap calipers are not. But there are plenty of say tap and die sets etc. That are simply scrap metal.
 

CalgaryPT

Super User
Vendor
Premium Member
Good points.

I'm a hot sauce fanatic. You can buy super expensive colour meters to tell when peppers are at the perfect time to pick, but companies like Tabasco still use a little red painted stick ("le petite bâton rouge") to gauge colour in the field. Simple, effective, and practically disposable in terms of cost—the right tool for the job.

I don't carry a Bosch electronic measuring device on my trips to scrap yards or metal suppliers, buy I do have cheap tape measures in my truck if needed.